New Scholarship for Lerner College Created
University of Delaware

New Scholarship for Lerner College Created

Raymond D. and Melanie S. Andrews Endow Scholarship

This year a scholarship created for in-state students in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics joins the list of financial aid options available to University of Delaware students.Ray and Melanie Andrews

The Raymond D. and Melanie S. Andrews Endowed Scholarship, which is offered to graduating high school seniors from Delaware on the basis of financial need, was endowed by class of ’76 alumnus Ray Andrews and his wife Melanie in the summer of 2012, and was awarded to its first recipient during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Ray Andrews said that he hopes the award will help students who might not otherwise have access to a college education.

"Melanie and I established the scholarship as a way to 'pay it forward' to help young Delawareans who otherwise could not afford to attend the University of Delaware gain a first class undergraduate education at the Lerner College of Business and Economics,” said Andrews
While the Andrews have made financial donations to UD for years, the $100,000 gift that funded the scholarship marks a large expansion in their contributions. There were several things that ultimately inspired the couple to make such a significant donation, Andrews said, including the family’s long-held desire to help young people who lack the resources to attend college.

“We said that if we ever had the financial ability, we wanted to give back to the community by helping fund a college education for individuals that otherwise couldn’t afford it,” said Andrews. “Fortunately, we had the opportunity to endow the scholarship,” said Andrews.

While Andrews was CFO at Checkpoint Systems, between 2007 and when he retired last July, the pieces began to come together that would allow the Andrews family to carry out their goal.

First, the UD Office of Development called to check in with Andrews, encouraging the former accounting major to become more involved with his alma mater and to give back. For years, other than his annual contributions to UD, Andrews said he lost contact with UD, rarely visiting campus.  The phone call reacquainted Andrews with what was happening at the University, and he said he liked what he heard about the changes occurring at UD, including the overall direction under President Harker.

“Dr. Harker has repeatedly said his vision is to make Delaware the go-to university for young people in the middle class that want a quality education but can’t afford to go to one of the private, more expensive schools,” said Andrews. “I think that makes a lot of sense because, Melanie and I came from a similar background.”

When the Andrews had the financial capability to create a scholarship fund, their respect for the leadership at UD and the University’s direction for the future convinced them to invest in UD rather than another school or organization.

“We looked up a variety of options and we thought this was a good place to do it,” said Andrews.
Andrews said he would encourage other people to learn about the positive changes at the University and to consider giving back.

“I’d say if you’re not familiar with what’s going on at the University of Delaware, A, you should take a look, and B, I think you’ll like what you see,” said Andrews.

“Even though Delaware is a large public institution, it requires significant funding from private sources because public funding is being directed to other priorities,” said Andrews.
Investing in the education of UD students will benefit society in an important way, said Andrews, who spent most of his career in the financial organization at DuPont before moving to Checkpoint in 2005.

“In my role as CFO at Checkpoint, I recognized the importance of having a finance team that has received a quality education.  It is a critical component in supporting our economy, our industries and our cultural life,” said Andrews.

The first recipient of the Andrews Scholarship is first-year student Thanhtam Pham, who lives in Bear, DE and plans to pursue double majors in international business and management.

“Our first recipient is exactly the kind of individual we had in mind when we established the scholarship,” said Andrews. “She’s the kind of person we’re looking to help, somebody who otherwise might not have the financial ability to attend UD,” said Andrews.

Article by Rachel Nass